College Football: Dave Marciano eyeing big things this season for St. Xavier
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media September 18, 2013 10:14PM
Dave Marciano (2), of St. Xavier | File photo
Updated: October 20, 2013 6:13AM
For Dave Marciano, time at St. Xavier has flown by.
The senior linebacker and St. Rita product has been a key contributor since his first year with the Cougars. He’s been a part of 39 wins, just five losses, the school’s first NAIA national championship in 2011 and three trips to the national semifinals.
He can’t believe it’s all close to ending.
“It’s came so fast,” he said. “It’s my last year here and I worked really hard in the offseason. Who knows where I’ll be next year? I may be playing somewhere else or I may be getting a real job. So I’m going to lay it all on the line this year.
“We have a really tough road this year,” Marciano added. “We have a challenging schedule. You have to look at it as one game a time.”
The Cougars are 1-1 entering Saturday’s home game against Robert Morris.
Marciano, who’ll turn 23 Oct. 5, is a fifth-year senior. He originally went to Eastern Illinois as a preferred walk-on in 2009, but never played before transferring to St. Xavier as a redshirt freshman in 2010.
He had 67 tackles in 2010, then totaled 73 tackles, including 8½ for a loss, in 2011. In 2012, he had 91 tackles, including 7½ for a loss and three sacks.
He’s been an All-Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Second Team selection the past two seasons after earning honorable mention accolades his freshman year.
“Dave is a great leader on the defensive side of the ball,” St. Xavier coach Mike Feminis said. “And he’s a playmaker.”
He’s also become a contributor offensively. The Cougars have used him as a fullback in their goal-line offense. In their 31-24 season-opening overtime win over defending NAIA national champion Marian (Ind.), he had a 1-yard touchdown run that began the Cougars’ comeback from a 24-10 second-half deficit.
Marciano has been fired up for a huge senior season since moments after the Cougars’ national semifinal loss to Morningside (Iowa).
“It’s the same taste we got when we lost to Carroll (in the 2010 semifinals),” he said then. “We came back the next year and won a national championship. We’re going to lose a lot of guys, but that’s what stepping up’s for.”
Stepping up is what Marciano expects the entire defense, a veteran-laden group, to do.
“Our defensive group for the most part has been together the last four years,” he said. “The holes we had last year are filled. Our defensive line is a year older and I think our linebacking corps this year is incredible. In the secondary, even losing some guys, we have guys stepping up that will really fill those roles.”